Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Cholinergic Input in Fast Versus Slow Cognitive Decline Upon Aging

Yusuke Tsuno, Ph.D. | Kanazawa University; Ulkuhan Guler, Ph.D. | Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Luisa Lopes, Ph.D. | Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes
Competition Sponsor:
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020

As people age, some maintain the cognitive function, while others suffer from rapid cognitive decline. It is thought that the cholinergic circuit gradually degenerates with aging, resulting in impaired cholinergic function and memory impairment. However, the lack of a method to measure acetylcholine release in vivo with high resolution has hampered subsequent studies. Therefore, we bring together our specialized knowledge to propose the elucidation of the temporal and functional characteristics of cholinergic dysfunction, which may underlie the rapid and slow cognitive decline due to aging.
The establishment of a non-invasive synaptic surrogate of human cholinergic function has the potential to inform about a patient’s condition and vulnerability to memory deficits in a personalized manner with prognostic value. The identification of the cholinergic input which is dysfunctional in age-impairment will add knowledge to the field and hopefully provide novel clues to interfere or delay memory decline upon aging.
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